Flying Blind: How Political Correctness Continues to Compromise Airline Safety Post 9/11

Flying Blind: How Political Correctness Continues to Compromise Airline Safety Post 9/11

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by Michael Smerconish, Arlen Specter
     
 

Radio talk show host Michael Smerconish asks the question: In a post-9/11 world marked by constant threat of terrorism, why do the Department of Transportation and the Transportation Security Administration continue to jeopardize airline security by enforcing outdated screening regulations that cater to political correctness? The policy in question-disallowing airline… See more details below

Overview

Radio talk show host Michael Smerconish asks the question: In a post-9/11 world marked by constant threat of terrorism, why do the Department of Transportation and the Transportation Security Administration continue to jeopardize airline security by enforcing outdated screening regulations that cater to political correctness? The policy in question-disallowing airline security screeners from using profiling to target young Arab males for secondary screening-goes against the basic police investigative strategy of using pertinent information to pinpoint suspects and prevent further terrorist attacks. The issue first came to light during the 9/11 Commission hearings, and Smerconish's investigation gets to the heart of it. Drawing from U.S. Government documents, testimony from the 9/11 hearings and the June 24, 2004 special Senate hearing, on-the-record conversations with major airline officials and government representatives from the TSA and the Pentagon, personal experience, and various news stories and first-person accounts, Smerconish weaves together a stunning portrait of our flawed and failing airline security structure, and offers a strong solution. Includes audio CD with testimony from the 9/11 Commission hearings, testimony from a special U.S. Senate hearing about airline security, and excerpts from Smerconish's radio program including conversations with 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman, U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and John McCain, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Hannity & Colmes
Michael Smerconish is saying what many Americans are thinking-we need to have this debate.
Sean Hannity
Publishers Weekly
Flying with his family, Smerconish, a radio talk-show host and newspaper columnist based in Philadelphia, twice had his eight-year-old son chosen for "secondary screening"-and was twice able to substitute himself without incident, despite his carrying odd-looking electronic broadcast gear. Mulling the ease with which he made it though the process, he then learned of a federal policy to fine airlines "if they have more than two young Arab males in secondary questioning." (The actual testimony from an airline industry rep was that the Justice Department said a screening system would be discriminatory if it flagged more than three people of the same ethnic origin.) Contacting the Department of Transportation, Smerconish was told secondary screening is random or behavior-based. Tracing down the decisions that led to these policies in detail-and decrying the policies themselves-Smerconish argues that the U.S. should give some weight to stereotypes. His hero is an immigration inspector in Orlando in 2001, who stopped a Saudi national (likely the 20th hijacker) who became visibly upset when asked why he lacked a return ticket. Designed to provoke Congress to address the tension between nondiscrimination and airlines' capacity to refuse passengers, this book, with its senatorial foreword, may do just that. (Sept. 1) Forecast: Airline safety remains a hot-button issue three years after the September 11 attacks. Smerconish will be appearing on local and national TV and radio; a 50,000-copy first printing, $25,000 marketing campaign, first serial to Philadelphia magazine and included audio CD of interviews will add to the buzz. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762423767
Publisher:
Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
08/30/2004
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.85(d)

What People are saying about this

John Lehman
John Lehman, 9/11 Commissioner and former Secretary of the Navy
Michael Smerconish has produced a shocking, accurate and very readable contribution to the debate surrounding airport security.
Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck, nationally syndicated radio host
Before you get on another airplane, read this book.
Michelle Malkin
Fasten your seatbelts and prepare to be enraged. This incisive book is a must-read for Washington policymakers and airline passengers.
— (Michelle Malkin, nationally syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times bestsellerInvasion)

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